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Hockey: Marlborough lose again – putting their opponents out of relegation danger

Marlborough vs Westbury and UB                Marlborough lose 3-2

With their relegation from the Davis Wood Hockey League's Championship Division confirmed, Marlborough made the short trip to Bristol to play Westbury who themselves needed a win to ensure they would not be dragged in to a final day relegation scrap.

The game started with Westbury dominant and being able to open Marlborough up seemingly at will.  Thankfully for the visiting side they squandered their chances, several of which came from Marlborough defensive errors.  

Marlborough’s main attacking threat throughout the half came down the left and right flanks with skilful wing play from John Bromley and Matt Ashton.  

Marlborough took the lead somewhat against the run of play towards the end of the half when Ashton and Matt Osborne combined for some deft one-two passes which Ashton followed up by rounding the keeper and calmly finishing into the open goal.

The second half began with Westbury upping their game further, no doubt feeling hard done by at score line that did not do them justice.  

Marlborough had to weather attack after attack and somewhat inevitably Westbury scored their deserved equaliser after some confusion close to goal.  They then pressed further on and took the lead after a quick break following some indecisive refereeing which left Marlborough flat footed.

The third Westbury goal followed soon after putting Marlborough 3-1 down with not long left in which to redeem the situation.  

To their credit Marlborough dug in and did not stop running or harrying their opponents and with three minutes to go captain Rich Holman scored after outwitting the Westbury goalkeeper with some sublime skill and a reverse stick strike.  

Marlborough tried their utmost in the remaining minutes to fashion an equaliser but ran out of time. 

Go to the Club's website for more information and fixtures.

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Hockey: relegation now certain for Marlborough as they lose in the final minute

Marlborough vs West Wilts            Marlborough lose 2-1

With a mathematical, if highly unlikely, chance of avoiding relegation, Marlborough welcomed local rivals West Wilts on a sunny and crisp Saturday afternoon.  West Wilts were themselves desperate for points in their bid to stave off relegation.

The game began with West Wilts settling to the game quicker with some excellent ball retention and calm, patient play which led to several attacks which came up fruitless against some resolute Marlborough defending.  

Marlborough worked their way into the game with several quick counter attacks down the right and left flanks which found West Wilts out of position having become complacent after their early dominance.

Soon the game resembled a traditional Marlborough match of high octane fuelled attacking and defending from both sides, an open enjoyable brand of hockey that was relished by both sides.  

Back row l to r: James Richardson, Matt Way, Chris Jones, Richard Holman, Anil Sud, John Bromley, Front row: Matt Osborne, George Gregory, Brian Marnane, Charlie Down, Kia Ames-HeadleyBack row l to r: James Richardson, Matt Way, Chris Jones, Richard Holman, Anil Sud, John Bromley, Front row: Matt Osborne, George Gregory, Brian Marnane, Charlie Down, Kia Ames-Headley


The first goal of the game was scored by Marlborough after a breakaway down the right hand side between Matt Osborne and Marlborough captain Rich Holman allowed Anil Sud to connect with a reverse stick strike from the top of the ‘D’.  

Marlborough held firm to lead 1-0 at half time after Wilts failed to score from several short corners.

Marlborough on the attackMarlborough on the attackThe second half began much the same as the first half had ended with both sides willing to play an open and attacking game.  This led to several scoring chances for both sides, but the finishing touches seemed to have deserted both sets of strikers.

With eight minutes left in the match West Wilts broke their deadlock after Marlborough were caught napping from a quickly taken sideline play and the ball ended up bundled in from close range.  

With both sides desperate for the win, the intensity was ratcheted even higher and with one minute remaining Marlborough were reduced to ten men for the third game running.  

West Wilts were able to win a short corner and with the last play of the game scored the winner leaving Marlborough heartbroken and with relegation from the Davis Wood Hockey League’s Championship Division now a certainty. Captyain Richard Holman gains some spaceCaptyain Richard Holman gains some space

Despite his obvious disappointment, Captain Rich Holman reminded his players that the application and commitment they had shown was exemplary.  He added that they would need this application and commitment more than ever in the remaining fixtures so they could end the season with pride. 


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Hockey: Marlborough concede goals to Gloucester City - does relegation loom?

Marlborough vs Gloucester City        Gloucester  City win 5-3

Knowing that nothing but a win would help in their desperate battle to stave off relegation, Marlborough made the trip to Gloucester fully focused on the task at hand.

The game started slowly with both teams happy to play the ball around in an attempt to gauge each others weaknesses and with the only real threats to goal from either team following opposition errors.  

The game sprang to life when Marlborough took the lead after sharp work down the left hand side led to an opening which debutant Charlie Down steered home from close range.  

Buoyed by the goal, Marlborough pressed higher and were soon finding themselves in several excellent attacking situations.  The pressure told on Gloucester as Marlborough went 2-0 ahead after captain Rich Holman found himself unmarked at the top of the D and slipped the ball under the onrushing goalkeeper.   

With the fist half coming to a close Marlborough seemed to be cruising until a 50/50 decision went Gloucester’s way - leaving Marlborough reduced to ten men for a sin bin offence.  

Marlborough’s troubles were doubled when they conceded a questionable goal after an awkward aerial pass – making it 2-1 in Marlborough’s favour at half time.

Gloucester came out for the second half reinvigorated by their goal and soon levelled the scoring with a deft finish on the left hand by line.  Now fully in the game and clearly with momentum, Gloucester dominated in all areas and their advantage seemed almost insurmountable after another goal and yet another sin bin offence from Marlborough reduced them to ten men once more.  

Marlborough conceded yet another goal as their opponents stretched the game with clever, quick ball movement after a short corner routine.

Marlborough conceded their fifth goal of the game with fifteen minutes remaining as their tired legs could no longer keep up with Gloucester who had exploited their numbers advantage twice during the course of the match.

Matt Osborne scored a short corner to bring some respectability to the score line.  Marlborough had held such a dominant position in the first half but once again failed to capitalise on it.

League - The Davis Wood Hockey League Division - Championship
Team Pld Pts
1 Bristol UWE 19 46
2 Cardiff & UWIC A 17 43
3 Gloucester City 19 39
4 Truro 19 36
5 Univ of Exeter C 19 26
6 Robinsons A 19 23
7 Westbury and UB 18 21
8 Swansea Bay 18 20
9 West Wilts 18 18
10 Team Bath Buccs B 19 18
11 Bristol University A 18 14
12 Marlborough 18 9




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Hockey: Marlborough's very mixed fortunes at Bath and Truro

Marlborough vs Bath Buccs C            Game drawn 4-4

With a win desperately needed and confidence in a positive result building, Marlborough made the short trip to the Bath university grounds with hopes high.  The game started fantastically well for Marlborough with some excellent passing and movement off the ball highlighting their opponents weaknesses.   

Marlborough’s dominance was soon rewarded when they opened the scoring through striker Matt Osborne after a deft move down the right hand side of the pitch.  Soon the lead was doubled when Dave Webster thundered home a first time strike from the top left edge of the D.  

Full of confidence, Marlborough pressed on and soon found themselves in full control of the game after a third goal, courtesy of a Chris Jones drag flick. This gave Marlborough a handsome 3-0 lead at half time.

The second half began with a change of tactics for the home side as they pressed Marlborough higher up the pitch and put more men in attack and midfield.  After sustaining some pressure Marlborough broke away for their fourth goal of the day after John Bromley’s sublime reverse stick placement shot deceived several defenders and the on-rushing goalkeeper.  

With the score line at 4-0 Marlborough knew they had a great opportunity to secure a vital three points, but Buccs were not going to let the game go so easily.

Their deficit was soon cut after a crash ball deflection and was then reduced further after Marlborough had a player sin-binned and a penalty flick awarded to Buccs after a clear foul during a goal scoring opportunity.  

The game back to 4-2 and with a man extra Buccs pushed further forward and soon found themselves even closer after some disappointing defensive work from Marlborough took the score to 4-3.

Marlborough’s attempts to hold on to the game slipped further as they were reduced to nine men after a contentious off the ball incident.  Buccs pressure told as they scored from a short corner routine with the last play of the game to leave the final result and incredible 4-4.  

Despite the disappointment Marlborough knew they had no time to feel sorry for themselves as a long trip to Truro awaited the team the following day.

Marlborough vs Truro                 Marlborough lose 7-2  

With the end of season run approaching, Marlborough made the long trip down to Truro knowing that they simply had to pick up points in order to keep their spirits high.   

The game started brightly with Marlborough in the ascendancy and controlling play before an unforced turnover allowed Truro to open the scoring with their trademark efficiency in front of goal.  

Marlborough soon created some chances of their own and would have levelled the scoring if not for some last ditch defending and assertive goalkeeping.

Truro doubled their lead with another break away goal, but were pegged back after an excellent first time flick shot from Matt Osborne.  Truro ended the first half scoring from a short corner routine to make the score 3-1 at the break.

The second half began with Truro taking a more dominant position in the game and their killer instinct showed with another goal very early in the second half after catching Marlborough in possession.   Marlborough pulled one back when Anil Sud scored from a short corner breakdown to give the visitors some hope.  

This was short lived however as Truro dominated the final parts of the game scoring three more times to leave the result beyond any doubt at 7-2 to the home side.

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Hockey: Marlborough just miss vital points at Swansea

Marlborough vs Swansea                Marlborough lose 2-1

After a narrow defeat in their previous outing against Exeter University, Marlborough made the trip over to Swansea for what was yet again another vitally important game in terms of relegation.  The previous fixture between the two sides had been a close affair which ended 3-3 after Swansea equalised with what turned out to be the final play of the game.

Marlborough started this game well and using the quick, bouncy pitch to their advantage made several fast attacks which forced Swansea on to the back foot.  This became particularly important as Swansea’s only way of clearing the ball was, it seemed, a hit-and-hope tactic. 

Soon Swansea had worked their way into the game and had several chances of their own via short corner routines and some intricate play down both the flanks.  The first half finished 0-0 with both sides wary that he teams seemed very evenly matched.

The second half began with Swansea taking the initiative and forcing Marlborough back by loading the midfield and forward areas with extra players.  After several goal scares Marlborough were able to break with devastating effect thanks to right wing maestro Matt Ashton’s fast paced run and pass which found an unmarked Matt Osborne who was able to score with ease. 

Swansea responded by pushing more forwards higher still and were rewarded for their efforts after a miscued aerial found its way in to the ‘d’ and was then calmly despatched by the surprised Swansea striker.

With the score level and with ten minutes to go both teams were aware that the next goal would most likely be the decider. It was Swansea who stepped forward and claimed the lead after a by-line run and an acute angle shot. 

Marlborough pressed as feverishly as they could in the remaining time but were unable to find the vital equalising goal.    

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Hockey: Back in action after the snow interrupted fixtures, Marlborough lose a close game

Marlbrough vs Exeter University  C            Marlborough lose 3-2

Back after a couple of weeks without any games due to the weather disruption, Marlborough welcomed Exeter knowing that the next few games would be the most crucial part of the season with their fight against relegation.

Exeter started the game in control and showed patience in their build up play not allowing Marlborough into the game in the opening few minutes.  This in turn flustered Marlborough - and when they were able to gain possession they were quick to give it away as they had not yet adjusted to the pace and style of the game.

Exeter deservedly took the lead after Marlborough failed to react quickly enough to an Exeter side line hit which was despatched with ease by one of the Exeter forwards with a pin-point sweep hit.

Marlborough realised that their current standard of hockey would not see them through with any kind of result and upped their game considerably.  This resulted in several chances through some slick moves down both the left and right flanks and the home side’s spell of pressure was rewarded when Captain Rich Holman drew his team level with a calm finish from close range.

With both sides evenly matched and with half time quickly approaching the next goal would almost certainly prove to be of great importance.  Exeter were the ones to take the lead once more after a short corner routine just on the stroke of half time.

The second half began as the first had ended with both teams playing at a high level with maximum commitment and effort being displayed in every position of the pitch.  Unfortunately for Marlborough several injuries sustained during the match forced their hand in changing their formation several times and as a result they were mainly restricted to playing counter attacking hockey.   

This tactical change lulled Exeter in to a false sense of security and soon Holman had his and Marlborough’s second goal of the game after a quick interception in the opposition area saw him slot the ball between the on-rushing goalkeeper’s legs.

Level at 2-2 with just seven minutes remaining the game looked as though it could swing either way. But once more Exeter forced their way in front after a defensive lapse in concentration.  

With the few minutes left Marlborough tried their utmost to score and earn a draw but were unable to fashion an open chance.

The game ended 3-2 in favour of Exeter with Marlborough disappointed having given their all. With several double header weekends coming up such application will need to be the minimum requirement in order to keep their hopes of staying in their league division alive.

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  • Marlborough-2013-04-18 St Peters
  • IMG 9097
  • Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08-----07
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  • Town-Hall-2011-05-03 08-